Digestive Health

Is Leaky Gut a Cardiovascular Risk Factor?

By Becky Wright, Contributing Writer

Leaky gut syndrome has been getting a lot of attention during the last several years for its role in the etiology of chronic conditions like inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS) and even diabetes. A new line of research suggests that intestinal permeability may contribute to cardiovascular risk. The key? Gut bacteria and bacterial endotoxins that enter the blood stream and inflitrate the epicardium, the vascular endothelium, and atheromatous plaques present in the vessels.

The Downside of Probiotics: Bloating and Brain Fog

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

Probiotics can promote gut health and improve the symptoms of a range of different diseases. But emerging evidence suggests that use of “friendly bugs” can sometimes have decidedly unfriendly consequences, from gas and bloating to brain fog and even grave infections.

To Help Patients with Irritable Bowel, Clinicians Need to “DIGIN”

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) “is a very serious condition that needs aggressive intervention,” said Gerard Mullin, MD, MS, at the Institute for Functional Medicine’s recent 2018 Annual International Conference in Hollywood, Florida. While conventional medicine offers drugs for symptom management, Mullin believes that to truly heal IBD, clinicians need to “DIGIN,” and work holistically to address the multiple facets of this condition. His DIGIN protocol offers good guidance.

Lactobacillus Combo Delays Celiac Onset In At-Risk Children

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

Findings from a new study on celiac disease challenge the prevailing belief that strict gluten avoidance is the only effective approach to managing the condition. Researchers at Sweden’s Lund University showed that certain strains of probiotic bacteria have a suppressive effect on celiac autoimmunity that can delay the onset of the disease in at-risk children. […]

The “Wheat Zoomer”–A Game-Changer for Gluten Testing?

By Madiha Saeed, MD, Contributing Writer

A new suite of antigen tests collectively called the Wheat Zoomer is being forwarded as a definitive tool to help clinicians figure out if a patient truly is–or is not–sensitive to gluten and other grain-based proteins. Is the Zoomer all that it’s cracked up to be? Experts share their views.

Endomicroscopy Offers Insight on Leaky Gut Syndrome

By Isaac Eliaz, MD, Contributing Writer

Confocal laser endomicroscopy (CLE) enables direct visualization of cellular and subcellular changes in the intestinal lining of a living patient. This new imaging technique gives the ability to detect subtle inflammatory changes and epithelial gap formations in patients with intolerance to specific food group, providing objective evidence to support the controversial concept of “leaky gut syndrome.”

Probiotics Research Update: Glucose Control, Obesity Prevention & Ulcer Remedy

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

The recent explosion in human microbiome research and its increasing coverage in the media, has made “probiotics” a household word. While many people understand that beneficial bacteria are a crucial component of digestive health, scientists continue to uncover the myriad ways in which probiotics promote good health far beyond the GI tract.

Following are reviews of some of the latest probiotics studies highlighting the roles that gut flora play in regulating blood sugar levels, influencing obesity, and combating H. pylori infection.

How To Restore Gut Flora After Antibiotics

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

Antibiotics eradicate pathogenic infections and save lives — but in doing so, they also disrupt the integrity of the intestinal microbiome. While many physicians recognize the need for restoring a patient’s microbial balance following a course of antibiotic therapy, far fewer understand how to do this effectively. According to Amie Skilton, ND, restoration of gut […]